Volker stated that Ukraine should become a NATO member as soon as possible: then, for Putin, the continuation of the war would be purposeless
Ukraine should join NATO as soon as possible. This would render the Russian Federation's war pointless, and delaying Ukraine's membership only serves to embolden Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.
"I am convinced that NATO's current policy inadvertently sends a signal to Putin to continue the fighting. Because we say that Ukraine will become a member in the long run, but we cannot bring it into NATO while this war is ongoing. This is an incentive for Putin to continue the war," stated Kurt Volker, former US Ambassador to Ukraine and former US Ambassador to NATO, at a conference in the European Parliament. He was quoted by Ukrinform.
According to the diplomat, it is time for the West to "send the opposite message." Kyiv will become a part of the North Atlantic Alliance as soon as possible.
"This means that there will be no way for Ukraine to lose. Then the continuation of this war will be pointless for Putin and destructive for Russia," Volker said. He added that he was expressing his personal opinion and did not represent the position of the United States.
Bringing Ukraine into NATO is not as challenging as it may seem, Volker said. Yes, it may raise concerns about escalation, the risk of a nuclear strike, or a direct clash between the alliance and Russia. These points should be taken into account, but they can be resolved, according to Volker.
"We can talk, particularly in the format of the NATO-Ukraine Council, about what Article 5 will mean for Ukraine and what steps the Alliance will take under this article to protect Ukraine. Article 5 does not contain specific commitments to send troops; it speaks of a collective response. We have such a collective response even now because training, equipment, intelligence data - all this is already provided by NATO to Ukraine," the politician explained.
The military bloc can do more to help Ukraine, he emphasized. This includes providing demining capabilities (including at sea to open routes in the Black Sea). Also, NATO could conduct missions to ensure freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, as Russia attacks civilian vessels of third countries in international waters, and such actions are directly tantamount to piracy.
"NATO can also directly contribute to Ukraine's air defense. Providing the appropriate equipment is a good start; things are better now than before. But I think the Alliance can do more by directly helping Ukraine with air defense. To the west, Ukraine borders NATO countries, which allows us to use the capabilities for air defense of large settlements or civilian infrastructure," the former US ambassador to the Alliance said.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported:
- On November 27, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine's full membership in the military bloc is impossible until active hostilities end. At the same time, the allies will support the country and consistently assist in reforms, he assured.
- Earlier, Stoltenberg said that joining NATO stimulated the Eastern Bloc countries to economic and social development and opened the way to the EU.